April 11, 3031 Worship Service Link

YouTube video St Johns UCC Sunday 4-11-2021St Johns UCC Sunday 4-11-2021

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Bulletin for Sunday, April 11, 2021

WELCOME TO

ST. JOHN’S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH   45817

April 11, 2021

 Second Sunday of Easter

Rev. Katherine Beckett (567-226-1009)  Church (419-358-5641)

E-mail:      stjohnucc@embarqmail.com

Website:    www.blufftonstjohns.com

______________________________

No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!

Postlude                   “Lift High the Cross”             arr. Lani Smith

Benediction

*Closing Hymn        “Pass It On”    P. 557                                                                                       (v. 1 & 3)

Pastoral Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer

*United Church of Christ Statement of Faith

We believe in God, the Eternal Spirit, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our Father, and to his deeds we testify:

He calls the worlds into being, creates man in his own image and sets before him the ways of life and death.

He seeks in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin.

He judges men and nations by his righteous will declared through prophets and apostles.

In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Lord, he has come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to himself.

He bestows upon us his Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.

He calls us into his church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be his servants in the service of men, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil, to share in Christ’s baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory.

He promises to all who trust him forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, his presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in his kingdom which has no end.

Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto him.  Amen.

*Hymn of Praise  “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light”   P. 248                                                                                                 (v. 1 & 2)

Reflection

One:   Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church

Many: Thanks be to God.

Epistle Reading                              1 John 1:1-2:2

Reading from Church History    Acts 4:32-35

Reading from the Psalter             Psalm 133

Prayer for Illumination+

Dear God, as we hear your word, may we be transformed

into a true community of believers, ready to go into the world

to testify that Christ is alive and active in our lives today.

Amen.

Reading based on the Gospel of John 20:19-31+

*Hymn                       “Trust and Obey”                    P. 443                                                                                           (v. 1 & 4)

*Assurance of Forgiveness

*Prayer of Confession+

Patient Lord, you wait for us to understand.  You wait for us to

remove the blinders of prejudice, fear, unbelief, confusion.

You have offered to us the greatest miracle of all time, the

resurrection of Your Son Jesus Christ.  We sang and

celebrated last Sunday, but a week has passed, and we have

slid back into our old ways of perceiving your presence and

love.  Shake us up, Lord!  Shake us up and cause us to look

with new eyes on our Savior, who came that we might have

life, abundantly serving all who are in need.  Forgive our

stubbornness and our complacency.  Reach out to us so that

we may reach out with healing love to others, for we pray this

in Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

*Opening Hymn   “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”          P. 96                                                                                                   (v. 1 & 5)

*Call to Worship+

One:   This is the good news which we proclaim to you.

Many: Jesus Christ is raised from the dead!

One:   Walk in the light of his love.

Many: Live in the light of his teachings and healing mercies.

One:   Come, let us worship the One Who overcame death.

Many: Let us celebrate the triumph of our Lord. Amen.

Welcome and Announcements

Prelude         “March on in Victory”                       David Paxton

____________________________________________________

+Adapted from Ministry Matters

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Marks of Faith (Second Sunday of Easter) John 20:19-31

For years, maybe even decades, the church has wrestled with how to both retain the intimacy of in-person worship and also to embrace the technological changes in communication that are burgeoning in every other aspect of modern life.

When the church, along with the rest of society, was placed under quarantine, the decision was made for us. As communities of faith, we had to adapt some technological ways of staying in community in order to continue to worship with one another.

While many local churches moved their worship services online, the national United Church of Christ pivoted and moved online, too.

“Thursdays for the Soul” and “Tuesdays for Nurutre” are offerings from the United Church of Christ to unite, uplift and equip the Church for such a time as this. These videos are streamed live and are availalb to rewatch and share.

These online offerings have opened church-wide converstions ranging from the decidedly practical to the unapologetically philosophical. They offer guidance for churches and church leaders seeking information about how to be church in these challenging times, along with conversations with a variety of individuals at the forefront of faith and social justice movements.

One of the gifts of these digital days is that if you missed the offerings at “Thursdays for the Soul” or “Tuesdays for Nurture” the first time around, they are still available to you now. You can find them by searching for Worship and Care for the Entire Church Webinars on YouTube.

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Easter Day: Now What? (Mark 16:1-8)

The resurrection story is the story of a journey from death to life–not only for Jesus the Christ but also for those who loved and followed him.

Jesus’ friend Mary is the first to the tomb, along with some other women disciples. She arrives at the tomb uncertain, and in the telling from the Gospel of Mark, leaves that place “trembling and bewildered.” At first, the Gospel says, they said “nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” And yet the story must have leaked out, because we tell it again today. The story moved from the tomb of confused silence to the resurrection light of confident proclamation.

We also often find ourselves trembling and bewildered, silent and afraid. How can we move from the speechlessness of fear to the joyful speech of the good news? Maybe following Mary to the tomb can give us some ideas about how to take the journey ourselves from death to life. Like Mary and her friends, we can meet grief face-to-face, and to take the risks that challenge us in that encounter.

Mary was willling to meet grief face-to-face. Personally, she had witnessed the brutal torture and murder of her teacher, healer and friend. By tending to the tomb of her loved one, Mary was enacting one of the rituals of grief. At first, it might cause more sadness, but she had the wisdom to know that pausing to grieve was an important step on transformation’s path. How awful it must have been to face that terrible grief. But the good news is that no matter the grief, joy will come in the morning.

In her grief, Mary was also willing to take a risk. How scary it must have been for Mary and the other women to be there in the garden, before first light had come. There is so much that tells us to be afraid. But the good news is that the new life that Christ promises is greater than any fear.

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Bulletin for Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021

WELCOME TO
ST. JOHN’S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH 45817
April 4, 2021
Easter Sunday
Rev. Katherine Beckett (567-226-1009) Church (419-358-5641)
E-mail: stjohnucc@embarqmail.com
Website: http://www.blufftonstjohns.com


No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!


Prelude “Hallelujah” George Frederick Handel

Gospel Reading Mark 16:1-8


Welcome

*Call to Worship+

One: They went to the cross,
Many: And watched you breathe your last.
One: So, they ran to the upper room
Many: And locked the door in fear.
One: Then, on this day so many years ago, some women went to the tomb,
Many: But you were not there.
One: You were not there.
Many: You were already set loose in the world-spreading a holy type of love.
One: So, find us here.
Many: Spread love here.
One: Family of God, Christ is risen!
All: Alleluia! Amen!

*Opening Hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” P. 288
(vs. 1 & 3)

*Call to Confession+
Easter is a story of transformation – Death to Life; despair to hope; betrayal to forgiveness. We need that type of transformation – every day and all the time. So, join me in the prayer of confession, for in our truth-telling with the divine, we are transformed. Please join our hearts together in prayer.
*Prayer of Confession+
God of new life, we need Easter like the desert needs rain. For
you give us unending love, and we turn it into a commodity.
You give us mystery, and we force it into certainty. You give
us community, and we set rules about who is in and who is
out. You give us grace, but we hold grudges against our
neighbors. You give us light, and we ration it out to those we
believe deserve it.

God of grace, forgive us for our shortcomings. Dwell among
us like rain in the desert – holy and unexpected – until new life
grows here. Gratefully we pray, Amen.

*Assurance of Forgiveness+

*Hymn “The Day of Resurrection” P. 298
(vs. 1 & 3)


Time with the Children

Prayer for Illumination+

Holy Love, there are so many words in a day–to-do lists and stress, self-talk and notifications. There are so many words, and yet the only words we really need are yours. So today we pray–drown out every voice but your own, and speak to us through this text, for we are craving good news. We are desperate for your risen love. With gratitude we pray. Amen.

Reading from Church History Acts 10:34-43

Gospel Reading John 20:1-18

One: Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Many: Thanks be to God!

Reflection Reverend Katherine Beckett

Pastoral Prayer

*Hymn “In the Garden” P. 300

Holy Communion

Invitation to the Table


Words of Remembrance

Prayer of Consecration

Sharing of the Elements (Meditative Music: “We Remember You”
P. 690)

Prayer of Thanksgiving and The Lord’s Prayer

*Closing Hymn “He Lives” P. 302
(vs. 1& 2)

*Benediction

Announcements

*Postlude “Thine Be the Glory” arr. Lani Smith

-__________________________________________________
*Please stand if you are able.

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Bulletin for Maundy Thursday Service

WELCOME TO
ST. JOHN’S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH 45817
April 1, 2021
Maundy Thursday
Rev. Katherine Beckett (567-226-1009) Church (419-358-5641)
E-mail: stjohnucc@embarqmail.com
Website: http://www.blufftonstjohns.com


No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!


Prelude “Christ, Let Us Come With You” P. 276


Threshold*


Gather*
People gathered around Jesus as his reputation became known from town to town. As we gather virtually, we too are yearning for presence, for peace, for help.

First Reading Commission Matthew 10:1-8


Reflection


Second Reading The First Commandment Matthew 22:34


Third Reading The Plot to Kill Jesus Matthew 26:1-5


Approach*
People opened their lives to Jesus. We are drawn to the
Healer – opening our hearts with honesty and finding assurance that offers peace.

Prayer of Confession*
God of Suffering, You take no delight in the destruction of your creation, your people. Our own broken edges, sharp and raw, contribute to the pain sometimes. Especially during prolonged difficulty, we find ourselves struggling. We cannot manage it on our own, yet we try, forgetting to turn to you, forgetting to turn to each other, forgetting the power you offer, the commission you give, to turn our tears to balm, to use our broken edges to cleave new realities of justice and hope. It all feels overwhelming and so we look away.
Help us, Healer, show us our connection to your healing power. Forgive our disbelief. Move us to move one step at a time toward greater care for one another. In this silence, we sense and acknowledge our yearning for wholeness.


Silence

Amen.

Fourth Reading Jesus is Anointed Mathew 26:6-13

The First Anointing: Extravagant Love

Music “What Wondrous Love Is This” P. 257

Fifth Reading Preparation for the Feast Matthew 26:14-19

Believe*
People were fortified by Jesus’ words and deeds that revealed
care for all especially those marginalized. We strengthen our belief in the possibility of renewed health and vigor for all.

The Second Anointing: Called to Serve

Music “With the Body That Was Broken” P. 691

Sixth Reading: The Supper Matthew 26:20-29

Holy Communion

One: Our God is with you!
Many: And also with you!
One: Lift up your hearts
Many: We lift them up to our God.
One: Let us give thanks to our Sovereign God
Many: It is right to give our thanks and praise.
One: It is right, and a good and joyful thing,
always and everywhere to give thanks to you.

In the beginning you breathed life into raw materials,
creating and animating containers of beauty and goodness.
We, your Holy Vessels, were fired in the kiln of love
until we shined with your light.

Susceptible to shattering, we find ourselves broken,
unable at times to remember your promise of repair.
You remind us time and again that, though broken,
we are held in your presence
and made whole by your grace.

And so,
with your people on earth
and all the company of heaven
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Many: Holy , holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!

Hymn “Let Us Break Bread Together” P. 699

Seventh Reading Predictions Matthew 26:30-35

Litany
One: Disciples, I invite you to repeat after me:
I will never desert you
Many: I will never desert you
One: I will never deny you
Many: I will never deny you
One: I will never desert you
Many: I will never desert you
One: I will never deny you
Many: I will never deny you
One: I will never desert you
Many: I will never desert you
One: I will never deny you
Many: I will never deny you
Vessels, holy and whole. Broken, needing the One. Open body and soul. Healer come.

Ask*
People who were healed by Jesus were not afraid to ask. And so,
we come before the Holy One, making our petitions and our
desires known, trusting the work of the Spirit.

Eighth Reading Jesus Prays in Gethsemane Matthew 26:36-41

Prayers in the Night

Music “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” P. 261

Ninth Reading Jesus Prays in Gethsemane Matthew 26:42-56

Tenth Reading Jesus before the High Priest Matthew 26:57-68

Eleventh Reading Peter’s Denial of Jesus

Congregational Response

Vessels, holy and whole. Broken, needing the One.
Open body and soul. Healer come.

Closing Hymn “Go to Dark Gethsemane” P. 272

*adapted from Worship Design Studio. Used with permission.

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Maundy Thursday Service April 1, 2021

Below is the Maundy Thursday service which premieres at 7 p.m.

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Palm Sunday, March 28, 2021 Worship Video

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BAMA Cross Walk Friday, April 2

The Cross Walk, sponsored by the Bluffton Area Ministerial Association, begins at 11:30 a.m., April 2, at St. John’s United Church of Christ, and continues to English Lutheran Church, Bluffton Presbyterian Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, First Mennonite Church, and ends at First United Methodist Church.

The cross will be mounted on a pickup truck, as was the case last year. Interested persons may walk along with the truck, but social distancing and face masks are required. The procession will be videoed and will appear online.

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Bulletin for Sunday, March 28, 2021

WELCOME TO
ST. JOHN’S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
223 West College Avenue, Bluffton, OH 45817
March 28, 2021
Sixth Sunday in Lent
Palm Sunday
Rev. Katherine Beckett (567-226-1009) Church (419-358-5641)
E-mail: stjohnucc@embarqmail.com
Website: http://www.blufftonstjohns.com


No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!


Gather*


People gathered around Jesus as his reputation became known from town to town. As we gather virtually, we too are yearning for presence, for peace, for help.

Prelude “All Glory, Laud and Honor” P. 265


Welcome and Announcements


Threshold*

One: When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

"Tell the daughter of Zion:  Look, your king is coming to you,

humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

One: “Hosanna to the Son of David!
Many: “Hosanna to the Son of David!
One: Blessed is the one who comes
Many: Blessed is the one who comes
One: in the name of the Lord!
Many: in the name of the Lord!
One: Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Many: Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

One: When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

The Parade

Opening Hymn “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna” P. 267


One: We have seen that the stories of Jesus’ healing ministry are filled words and deeds. When he rides into Jerusalem, the people had hopes he would heal the oppressive system they were living under. We know that his healing was not confined to that moment in history, but offers a new way of life that has made a case for compassion for all, especially “the least,” ever since.

As we head into the events of Holy Week, we begin to see that our ability to forgive ourselves and others is the foundation that can transform infirmities and allow us to move on. We integrate our beliefs and actions for the health of the whole. The parade of compassionate power we celebrate today is underscored by another healing story of transformation, symbolizing our ability to fuel our movement of recovery. We glorify God for beautiful words and works of wholeness and share that treasured beauty with others. We know there will still be pain, but we also know love will win.

Approach*


People opened their lives to Jesus. We are drawn to the
Healer – opening our hearts with honesty and finding assurance that offers peace.

Opening Prayer of Confession*


One: Continue as we integrate all we have learned with all that we will do moving forward. For now, we remember how hard it is to move from thinking to doing. Let us pray:

Many: Forgiving God, we have opened ourselves to healing and sometimes it is easier to pray nice prayers than to do the hard work of putting into action what needs to happen. Help us remember the sacred nature of the holy vessels that we are, fragile and susceptible to shattering and yet capable of transformation. Help us to see ourselves as you see us. Help us to believe in our ability to change and heal as you believe in us.


Help us, Healer. Show us our strength. Forgive our inertia. Move us to move one step at a time toward greater care. In this silence, we sense and acknowledge our yearning for wholeness.

Silence

Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

Passing of the Peace

Believe*


People were fortified by Jesus’ words and deeds that revealed
care for all especially those marginalized. We strengthen our belief in the possibility of renewed health and vigor for all.

Hymn “At the Name of Jesus” P. 321

A Contemporary Word

Mother Teresa, honored in the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, was a Catholic nun and missionary. She is quoted as saying:

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”

Scripture Matthew 9:1-8

One: Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.
Many: Thanks be to God!

Reflection Holy Wholly Reverend Katherine Beckett

Ask*


People who were healed by Jesus were not afraid to ask. And so,
we come before the Holy One, making our petitions and our
desires known, trusting the work of the Spirit.

Prayers of the People and the Lord’s Prayer

Response to Prayer “There is a Balm in Gilead” (Refrain only)
P. 631

Know*


The parting words Jesus gave to those he healed were often as much balm as the act of healing itself. We hear encouragement from the One who makes beauty from brokenness.

Ritual Action

Respond*


Scriptural accounts of healing often end with responses from the “crowd” of witnesses. How will we proceed into the brokenness of this world and respond as the Body of Christ?

Closing Hymn “Take My Life and Let It Be” P. 466

Benediction

Postlude “Ride On, Ride On in Majesty!” P. 268


*adapted from Worship Design Studio. Used with permission.

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